Updated: Taqa profits halved as oil earnings dwindle

Taqa’s profits were cut in half in the first quarter of 2018 as earnings from the firm’s oil and gas business dwindled.

The Abu-Dhabi government-controlled energy firm recorded pre-tax profits of £89million in the first quarter, down from £185million a year earlier.

Revenues for the first three months of the year rose 5% to £870million.

Pre-tax profits for Taqa’s oil and gas business plunged 93.5% year-on-year to £9.8million.

The company attributed the drop to several factors, including adverse stock movements, higher operating and tariff expenses, and foreign exchange fluctuations.

Natural decline and North Sea platform maintenance led to a 6% drop in production to 123,800 barrels per day.

Taqa’s UK portfolio consists of operated interests in the Harding, Morrone, Tern, Kestrel, Eider, North Cormorant, South Cormorant, Falcon and Pelican fields.

It has non-operated interests in the Maclure, Brae, East Brae, Braemar and Hudson fields.

Earlier this year Taqa said it was transforming the Eider platform and ensuring continued production from the Otter field as part efforts to extend the life of its northern North Sea fields.

Taqa Europe managing director Donald Taylor said the firm’s UK business had performed strongly, with production remaining ahead of plan.

Mr Taylor said: “We have maintained significant investment spend on facilities and infrastructure in Q1, along with a firm focus on operational cost control, enabling our business to continue to benefit from higher oil prices.

“The Paragon MSS1 drilling unit came on hire to Taqa in March, initially undertaking plug and abandonment scopes at the Pelican field, followed by development well activity.

“Additionally, platform plug and abandonment activity at Eider continues to be executed safely, on budget and with increasing efficiency.”

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